Think before you shop the message as €1,000 of food binned annually

Households are dumping up to €1,000 worth of food each year with families being urged to be less wasteful.

The most common foods binned are bread, apples, potatoes, salads, meat and fish, yoghurt and milk, and spreads and dips.

Shoppers have been told to think before they shop to help cut down on waste. Other tips include:

* Make a list over a week of the food that is thrown out;

* If shopping for the week, try and plan the meals ahead;

* Check the fridge, freezer and cupboard before shopping.

To highlight how much we waste, food destined for the rubbish bin will be used to provide a free lunch for 5,000 people later this month.

On the menu is a hot vegetarian curry made out of fresh but misshapen vegetables that would otherwise go to waste.

And to wash it all down is scrumptious apple juice made from wonky butwonderful apples that would otherwise rot away.

The big free meal takes place in Wolfe Tone Park just beside the Jervis Street Shopping Centre in Dublin on Saturday, Nov 24.

The event takes place during European Week for Waste Reduction to highlight how many households are throwing out 30% of the food they buy.

The Feeding the 5,000 campaign was jointly launched yesterday by Voice of Irish Concern for theEnvironment, Stop Food Waste, Bia Foodbank, and Food Glorious Food.

To serve 5,000, the following ingredients will be used: 150kg potatoes; 200kg rice; 120kg cauliflower; 250kg carrots; 100kg peas; 100kg tomatoes; 80kg cabbage; 80kg courgettes; 15kg coriander; 80kgs daal/lentils; 80kg butter; and 7kgs salt.

Project co-ordinator Mindy O’Brien said they would be using food that otherwise would have been thrown away because ofaesthetics, blemishes,damaged packaging, or short expiration dates.

* Advice and leftover recipes are available at www.StopFoodWaste.ie

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